Wow, this Flash asshole sure has an attitude on him, especially considering how Pete got him his current gig after he more or less just wandered in off the street. Once again we see another stellar example of BatYam intentions being clear, but his dialog being all askew and peculiar. I guess “you mean like humans?” wouldn’t fit in the word balloon. Not that it would have helped all that much, but still.
Humans Being Boring
Filed under Son of Stuck Funky
40 responses to “Humans Being Boring”
“Private conversation between humans, lizard-boy!”
Or “Quiet, Pete, the humans are talking!”
Actually, Flash, we don’t know anything about the “Elemental Force” other than their names. We don’t know strengths, weaknesses, level of power…none of that. We assume the Undergrounder is strong and the Match has flame powers, neither of which are omega-level abilities.
This comic is stupid and it wears dumb socks.
It sews socks that smell.
I stared at Pete’s response for like 3 minutes trying to make it make sense. I’ve seen Captain Planet coloring books that argued better than this.
And the “artwork” in panel 2 makes me want to puke. Yeah I know it can’t be fun illustrating this inane dialogue/story, but screw you Ayers, you’re getting paid to draw a nationally syndicated comic. There’s a million people out there creating better work for nothing. Get some fucking dignity.
It’s just so random and out of nowhere, not to mention completely unrelated to anything anyone’s said so far this week. I mean, I get it…”humans” are already the greatest threat to “the planet”…but I only get it because I’m familiar with the way BatHam operates. To someone who doesn’t have that frame of reference, this would probably read like complete gibberish. This whole arc so far has a really odd and disorienting kind of flow, almost like it was written specifically to confuse and annoy the reader.
Batiuk seems to think throwing in random cynical comments about the environment or climate change makes his writing edgy or sophisticated or important, somehow.
Yeah he loves to take potshots like this. He could make a meaningful comment, but I suppose that is beyond his capabilities.
Pete had that rare nose-enlargement surgery. But I guess it wasn’t enough to ingratiate himself into the Irrelevant Old/Dead Boys’ Club. A club that apparently still uses the inscrutable the 1″ finger pinch sign.
Look, I know that there are some people who lean into the ERP as a joke more than others, within or without the context of this strip, but that second panel – both with the word choice and postures among the two elders – is not helping to dissuade any of it.
Oh look, a writer refusing to acknowledge editorial comment! TB is finally writing what he knows.
Can’t say I was particularly impressed by TB’s inclusion in his blog’s “John Darling” update (Kent State University Press apparently not interested in a “Complete…” series of John Darling strips) with that funny ol’ guy, Bill Cosby at the head. Wocka wocka wocka. Yeah, you can’t judge that kind of thing retrospectively, but you can judge putting it out there in 2022. (Interestingly, WP autocorrects “wocka” to “woke.”)
The John Darling strip in question not only has Cosby in the throwaway panels, but the strip itself plays national news reporting tropes on (attempted, in this case) shootings for laughs… just a few years before the strip’s title character would meet his infamous end.
I don’t judge TB for posting it, as he’s been essentially publishing The Complete John Darling… well OK, it’s just the Sunday strips on his blog for several years now, but I do judge him for posting it without commentary. Yes, he hasn’t written any commentary on pretty much every other John Darling strip he has posted. I judge him for that too! Actually he largely comments on old Flash issues, the occasional reference photo trip, and little else. Even his insipid “Match To Flame” posts are usually just copied from his Complete FW volume introductions.
Some context for each of these old strips might actually be kind of interesting, especially when they cover subjects that have aged poorly. So yeah, that strip comes from a time when Bill Cosby was the biggest star on television and Julie Brown had a novelty hit with “The Homecoming Queen’s Got A Gun”, but not everyone knows that. And when TB doesn’t chime in with information like that, it comes across as if he hasn’t read the news in 15 years.
Actually, he did comment briefly on the recent JD “Beta vs VHS” strip. Something like, “Hey, it was relevant at the time.” So some things do manage to rouse a comment out of him. No one can predict what those things might be, though.
Julie Brown was a sex machine though…
She has a sequel to “Homecoming Queen” about Sarah Palin called “The Ex-Beauty Queen’s Got a Gun.”
I respectfully disagree. The Cosby reference was in the throwaway panel, and it’s not as if the strip were dedicated to praising his “family values” or anything. Everything the strip said about Cosby is still true (namely, that his first series was “I Spy,” and his co-star was Robert Culp.) I actually deplore the modern-day need to offer preambles if you depict any bad guys, just so the audience knows you’re one of the good guys. I criticize Batiuk for his fake feminism all the time, but I don’t think he needs to reassure us that he’s not for sprees of drugging and raping women. And I don’t think he needs to apologize for showing a strip from way back when Cosby was “America’s Dad.”
Very true. I don’t condone what Cosby did, but if you’re going to erase every entertainer/artist because of their behavior outside their work, you’re going to be left with practically no one left.
I’m with you in principls. But in 2022, I don’t think you can drag Bill Cosby out of mothballs and not say anything at all about it.
There’ve been several John Darling strips that would have benefited from some historical perspective. Like the one about Don Johnson’s first movie being A Boy And His Dog. This woiuld have been a good follow-up question: what modern video game series did that movie inspire? (The answer is in the movie’s Wikipedia page.) The lack of any such followup to all these outdated 1983 references, in what’s just a friggin’ web blog, is a tribute to Batiuk’s gob-smacking laziness.
So, another day of Frick and Frack arguing over a “big” villain for their superhero team, and the guy who helped create 25 percent of the team’s roster is dismissed out of hand. Makes sense.
The sad part, of course, is that all this inane chatter is merely the prelude to yet another Sideways Sunday Atomix cover calamity. Four days to go.
If you told me this whole “Atomik Komix” arc was just an excuse Batiuk devised to have other people do his work from him, I would totally believe it. And what’s funny is previously the comic tribute covers actually had his own characters and fit with the story, which was better.
This strip appears to be a collection of sentences strung together without regard for any appreciable meaning. You could bring in Rembrandt to illustrate it; it would still be twaddle.
I am being totally serious here — is anyone in Batiuk’s life taking the step of suggesting that he be checked out for some sort of early-stage dementia? I’m not trying to be snarky or mean here. I’m actually worried there may be some early signs manifesting…
What is this, Mean Girls?
I’m sure Chester would love to know that the writer he’s paying obscene amounts of money to, and has a massive hit movie on his resume, is being excluded from the creative process by these two chuckleheads. Whose best idea so far is “Mega Monger.”
Once again, we see why Tom Batiuk’s Ideal Comic Book Company would never work. You can’t treat your talent like this, or they’ll become your competitors’ talent. And you need project management, if only to avoid this exact situation..
I’m pretty sure Daddy Warbux gives less than a shit since AK doesn’t come close to turning a profit. Remember Chester’s outrageous wealth comes from being a world class player in real estate and hedge funds — AK was never going to be anything besides a little vanity plaything for him to happily subsidize, like how other clueless one-percenters might buy an IndyCar team or a bottom-dwelling NBA franchise (Sacramento I’m looking in your direction) or start some half-assed media outlet…
Daddy Warbux gives less than a shit because that’s what Tom Batiuk needs for his Ideal Comic Book Company to work. Creative people must never be subject to financial concerns of any kind. But they also can’t be expected to answer to any “non-creative” people, heavens no. So the rich guy’s plaything model doesn’t work either.
In a realistic world, Chester would expect AK to become profitable. And if he didn’t care about that, and it was just an expensive toy, he’d be a lot more involved in day to day operations. Or he’d have some other motivation, like money laundering. But he’s really just another storytelling crutch for Batiuk to lean on.
“Yes, I’m standing here in the middle of the office yelling and madly gesticulating, talking about writing our latest comic! And I am offended that another comic writer I work with overheard our yelled conversation, so I will retaliate with a sour look and a Quarter Inch Pinch Gesture!” And that concludes today’s Funky Winkerbean.
It feels that Batiuk is painting himself into a corner, with this ”she has to have mega powers” and ”she has to be a threat to planet”.
Everybody knows already now that the result is going to be just another lame ass cover with a lame ass supervillain with a silly name like ”Meg A. Thret”
It feels that Batiuk is painting himself into a corner, with this ”she has to have mega powers” and ”she has to be a threat to planet”.
Everybody knows already now that the result is going to be just another lame cover with a lame supervillain with a silly name like ”Meg A. Thret”
I’m putting my five-quatloo chip on a climate change-themed villain for the Sunday cover. Something real on-the-nose, like Smokestack Man or The Climate Changer.
The Climate Changer is good!
The guy whose superpower is to set your airconditioning to a too cold setting and cause a worldwide flu epidemic
Worse than that — he causes a war between the sexes!
She: It’s freezing in here! What is this, a meat locker? Turn down the A/C!
He: Are you crazy? It’s sweltering! I’m sweatin’ balls here!
“Make a terrible joke, pun, or comment, and have one of your characters point out that it’s terrible” is a trope that can work sometimes — rarely — and only when the pun or comment is remarkably ridiculous, not just lazy.
Batiuk is relying on this trope more and more.
P1: Boring exposition, often starting with “So.”
P2: Stupid and/or unfunny remark
P3: Another character points out that the remark was stupid and/or unfunny.
We see what you’re doing, Batty. We’ve all had jobs, and we know what would happen if we consistently did shit work and then pointed out how shitty our work was, expecting to be exonerated because we acknowledged it.
It’s bad enough that you get away with this, but even worse that you somehow think your work is brilliant and groundbreaking. I’ve said it before, but TB is the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
The thing is, I actually would be interested in a story where a group of elementals decide humans are the biggest threat to the world. I’m sure such a book exists already, but there are a few interesting angles you could go with there. ANY of which are WAY more relevant than “Mega Monger, Monger of Megas” or whatever.
Futurama did the “evil humans” gag better 20 years ago. While the credits rolled.
Futurama did everything better. Sigh.
I read today’s strip, yawned, took a sip of coffee, and pondered for a few minutes:
Where’s the joke?
Is this supposed to be drama?
Who acts this way in real life?
Is this written to be bad on purpose? Satire?
What is Batiuk trying to say?
What audience he is writing to?
Where’s the entertainment value?
Dull. Dull. Dull… dull.
I know several of you enjoy comic books. Are any of you enjoying this story arc?
I used to joke that the name of the strip should be changed to Dreadful Stuff. Lately, I’ve been convinced the name of the strip should be changed to Tom Batiuk Doesn’t Give a Damn Anymore as Long as the Check Clears.
It’s a good thing old man Hearst isn’t around anymore. If he read this waste of bandwidth, not only would Batiuk be fired from the syndicate, he’d be blackballed from the comics profession.
Chuck Ayers, how much is your dignity worth? Batiuk can’t possibly be paying you enough. Resign and let Batiuk hire some hungry desperate young artist to take over. Run. Be free!
Ugh. Dreadful stuff. 👎
Look at the passion in Flash’s face, as he stresses the correct level of power the comic book villains should have. And then his anger, as he glares at Pete for joining a conversation it’s Pete’s job to be part of.
Compare this to Linda’s indifferent smirking and tasteless jokes when her husband was dying of horrible brain damage. Or Becky’s nonchalant forgiveness of the driver of the car that dismembered her, the first time she showed up without an arm. Which happened when she was 18 years old and had Julliard lined up. Or the strip not even bothering to depict Les dealing with Lisa’s death.
This is what I meant earlier this week when I said Batiuk and Ayers can still do good work. Freeman is drawn like he’s got some fire in his eyes. Not every comic strip can do that. But Batiuk insists on directing all this passion at How To Comic Book Correctly, instead of the life-altering drama it should go to – which Batiuk insists are a key part of his oeuvre.
Yeah, the last time anyone got as excited as panel 1 Flash was when a Discman was about to fall off a treadmill.
Based on Flash doing “the gesture”, I’m pretty sure that the last panel originally read “Private conversation, thimble dick”.
I just realized this strip didn’t get a “Quarter Inch Pinch” tag!